Books that inspire and community challenges that urge creative action!
It seems the writing pace may have slowed for some of us, or the focus has changed, (I know mine does constantly!).
There is nothing predictable about living in the age of covid!
We are one week into school holidays here and a spread of lock downs began at the same time. Living in the country means fewer restrictions, however, my plans to catch up with family and friends on the coast are on hold, so the effects are far reaching as we all continue to adapt and navigate our way.
Fortunately, I have plenty of creative projects to help balance my disappointment. I have been making the most of my studio spaces, sewing and bookbinding, as well as enjoying slow time, pots of tea, writing and good reads.
Books are always a source of joy and inspiration for me. I have just finished reading two great stories that scream creative writing prompts!
100 REMARKABLE FEATS OF XANDER MAZE by Clayton Zane Comber
I do love a list, even more with a touching story behind it. This story has the feel of real life about it, the kind of thing you can imagine happened. So what are we waiting for?
THE AUTHENTICITY PROJECT by Clare Pooley
This one is perhaps a little closer to the bone…
The story of a solitary green notebook that brings together six strangers and leads to unexpected friendship, and even love.
Julian Jessop, an eccentric, lonely artist and septuagenarian believes that most people aren't really honest with each other. But what if they were? And so he writes--in a plain, green journal--the truth about his own life and leaves it in his local café.
I listened to the audio version of this story in one day! What an incredible idea and a thought provoking read.
How authentic are you? How satisfied are you? What are your truths? Will you write them down and leave them somewhere or start your own travelling journal, or keep them for yourself?
BLACK & WHITE...
I am part of some incredible online bookbinding communities and participate in regular challenges that help me stretch my creative limits, leading me into tempting and unexpected territories!
In June, the #areyoubookenough theme was black & white. My mind map took me in the direction of opposed forces, so I made a textured black book, wrote a poem in white and sewed in some opposites.
The exciting part is that this journal is one of the first in a series of themed #vesselsofcreativeconnection that I will soon be sending out into the wilderness for others to respond to with a contribution.
I love making books, but I love it even more when they are filled up with the musings of life, be it writing, drawing or whatever takes your fancy. Responding to themes is an easy way of collaborating, often with fruitful and fulfilling results, not to mention banishing great distances and bringing people together!
How will you interpret black & white?
50 WORD NOVEL
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Feast of Words at Coonabarabran High, so the theme is TIN or ALUMINIUM FOIL.
It took me a little while to find inspiration but I stuck with it and found what felt right. I do love interpretations of a theme; you are only 50 words away!
What will it be…tin cans, tinny sounds or a cat on a hot tin roof?
Check it twice!
Last minute Christmas list making!
Share your wish list with us...make it naughty & nice, wacky & wild, mindful, fun and creative.
Make a list of all the things you did that you wouldn't have done if isolation 2020 never happened.
As we continue our exploration of playful wordsmithing, it's time to discover and dabble in a little poetry.
Chinese portrait – if I was…
I am currently enjoying a 3 week free poetry course with www.futurelearn.com and through this discovered a new type of poem called a cento, also known as a collage or patchwork poem. A cento is made with lines from other poems to create a new poem. It is like a form of appropriation and because we are quoting only one line at a time, we are not infringing copyright.
There are surely many ways to go about it; however, we will experiment with a short two-line cento.
This is a little poem of five lines (from French, cinq = 5) from what I have discovered there are a few different ways to write a cinquain. The following format focuses on a central theme, matching tenses and point of view and specific numbers of syllables per line as below:
Follow the pattern or instructions to make your own cinquains.
Which do you prefer?
This week it's all about lists.
Lists are marvelous things and provide endless fodder for all kinds of writing. Answer them quickly or take your time to ponder.
This is only the beginning!
In a time before internet, social media and blogging, Victorians liked to amuse themselves by playing parlour games, one of which was questionnaires. These were recorded in a confession album and some became quite famous, like this one by the French writer Marcel Proust. (Have a look here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proust_Questionnaire if you are interested in Proust's responses)
Here is Proust’s Questionnaire:
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
2. What is your greatest fear?
3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
5. Which living person do you most admire?
6. What is your greatest extravagance?
7. What is your current state of mind?
8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
9. On what occasion do you lie?
10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
11. Which living person do you most despise?
12. What is the quality you most like in a man?
13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?
14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
16. When and where were you happiest?
17. Which talent would you most like to have?
18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it
19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what
would it be?
21. Where would you most like to live?
22. What is your most treasured possession?
23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
24. What is your favourite occupation?
25. What is your most marked characteristic?
26. What do you most value in your friends?
27. Who are your favourite writers?
28. Who is your hero of fiction?
29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
30. Who are your heroes in real life?
31. What are your favourite names?
32. What is it that you most dislike?
33. What is your greatest regret?
34. How would you like to die?
35. What is your motto?
I have written so many lists over the years, some quite ordinary, others more creative. Here are two from 2008 I believe.
Use the list titles to write your own.
What to bring to a creative writing workshop
Bring hopes and desires but leave any expectations under the mat. Bring all your senses and something precious. Strange objects and weird photos are handy. Fountain pens make writing feel special…bring different ones in case you don’t know which colour to choose. Bring paper or a notebook, scissors and glue, a scarf to keep your neck warm, something delicious to share and a favourite teacup. Bring a lucky charm. Bring your own writing to read or someone else’s, an old book, some music and a candle. Bring plenty of answers and a few questions.
Things to do while watching a sunset
Listen to a man playing bagpipes.
Marvel at the wonder of it all.
Stare at the horizon.
Wish you could do this everyday.
Search for dust trails.
Say a little prayer.
Write a list of things to do while watching a sunset.
Collect something from nature.
Hug a tree.
Close your eyes and see what smells you recognise.
Do a little dance.
Sip some sweet tea or wine.
Smile like an idiot.
Read some poetry.
Here is some list fun via Pip at http://meetmeatmikes.com/30-questions-answers/
Pass it on!
30 questions and answers
1. Who are you named after?
2. Last time you cried?
Last week, today?
Some recent sappy book/movie weepiness
3. Do you like your handwriting?
4. What is your favourite meat?
Groovy veggie chic
5. Longest relationship?
6. Do you still have your tonsils?
7. Would you bungee jump?
8. What is your favourite cereal?
9. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
10. Do you think you’re strong?
11. Favourite ice cream?
12. What is the first thing you notice about a person?
13. Football or rugby?
14. What colour trousers are you wearing?
15. Last thing you ate?
Mushroom and broccoli stroganoff
16. What are you listening to?
The cat purr
17. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be ?
18. What is your favourite smell?
Rain, sandalwood, patchouli, lavender, frangipani
19. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
20. Hair colour?
Dark brown usually dyed red
21. Eye colour?
22. Favourite foods to eat?
Cheese and olives, laksa
23. Scary movies or happy endings?
24. Last movie you watched?
Woman at war
25. What colour shirt are you wearing?
A many coloured patterned dress
26. What is your favourite holiday?
Camping, road trip, exploring
27. Beer or wine?
28. Night owl or morning person?
29. If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
So many places! Though not sure if I have a forever place...
30. Favourite day of the week?
Friday...the weekend begins.
Check out more list inspiration here https://pin.it/8J6ya63
Not experiencing or sharing my finest moments lately. So many emotional outbursts from uncontrollable sobbing to desperate verbal showers...usually at moments when I’d rather be cool calm collected competent professional.
Feeling ANGRY is so foreign.
There is nothing comfortable about it.
I like my creative positive me better.
Time to revive myself and get my sparkle back.
Serious nurturing required, no quick fixes, simple effort action motivation mindfulness and posterior shove. Time to enjoy spring flowers and make more lists!
I often find the end and beginning of a year to be a combination of happy and sad, a little like a wake or a farewell. There is joy and I celebrate, yet can't help feeling a certain emptiness, sadness, a sense of in between.
It's a time when my inner philosophe gets down to pondering, wondering...
It's a time i like to be with special people, enjoying simple pleasures, a time for reflection.
As for resolutions, my lists of hopes and dreams and wishes seems to grow rather than diminish and as long as life continues to inspire and overwhelm me as it does, I consider these lists with frustrated excitement because I'll never live long enough to achieve it all!
Though I will live hard trying!
(Even if I seem pretty relaxed most of the time!).
It's the journey that counts.
I am a creative and practical list maker. I rediscover old ones and laugh at how similar they are to my new ones.
(Check out some of my lists here http://listography.com/metissagesdecoeur)
I feel 2017 is going to be an 'ing' year;
reading walking creating eating discovering waiting exploring laughing writing dreaming dancing sleeping observing wondering meandering learning cooking playing sharing crying tasting listening...the list goes on,
but mostly just being.
For me, it seems there is not much difference between wondering and wandering. It has always helped me find inspiration. Creative dabbling is good for the soul, I couldn't imagine life without it and often surprise myself by what I come up with.